In the past, Nintendo has been particularly cautious about sharing their famous IP. Nintendo has always been hesitant about other companies licensing anything. Mario, Zelda, Samus, Donkey Kong and the rest of Big N gang have mostly been off limits. And, you can’t really blame them – I mean, the early nineties saw that Super Mario Bros. movie being made. From those days forward Nintendo has traditionally wanted to be fully and almost exclusively responsible for how their characters appear outside their own video games. Recently, however, this has started to change.
From Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle from Ubisoft, to Kellogg’s Super Mario Cereal, to the upcoming animated Super Mario movie by Illumination of Minion-fame – it is now clear Nintendo is truly interested in “synergy” and the monetary benefits of cross-business ‘pollination’. One of the most exciting of these ventures is the partnership with Universal Studios to create Nintendo theme parks.
At a recent official Nintendo shareholder’s meeting (and as first written about by Colin Stevens for IGN) Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was asked about the partnership and he commented that:
“A lot of people who are mothers and fathers today are from a generation that grew up playing Super Mario, and they are now playing products like Nintendo Labo together with their own children… When families visit these theme parks to experience Nintendo’s worlds that have been carefully crafted and to interact with our characters, I think we can expect to see synergy with our dedicated video game platform business.”
Clearly, Miyamoto and the Nintendo team see the great potential of leveraging the iconic characters from their games to grow their business even further – and even bring new generations of kids into the Nintendo ecosystem in a way other than the games. We can’t wait for these parks to be completed – and hope to have the chance of visiting them. However, for now this will involve some patience and travel outside of South Africa. According to the article the Super Nintendo World area within Universal Studios Japan [aims to be completed] before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and will later expand to the Universal Studios locations in Hollywood and Orlando. There are rumours that this park will not only include replicas of Bowser’s and Princess Peach’s castles, but possibly even include a life-size Mario Kart track. Guess it’s time to start saving for a trip to Japan or the US then.